A side project of sorts from the members of Ukrainian black metal outfit Drudkh, Blood Of Kingu was launched in 2005 and released their first disc De Occulta Philosophia a few years later in 2007. Their sophomore effort entitled Sun In The House Of The Scorpion has just been launched by Candlelight Records and it finds them continuing their successful combination of vocalist / guitarist Roman Saenko's shamanistic, guttural growls and ancient Sumerian/ Egyptian themed lyrics overtop an absolutely savage and unrelenting musical assault.
Although it runs a little on the short side at just a shade over thirty five minutes, what it lacks in length it largely makes up for it with its bone crushing and caustic dissonance. With less of an emphasis on atmospherics unlike Drudkh, Sun In The House Of The Scorpion is a much more direct statement musically, which unfortunately doesn't always play in the bands favor. Case in point, the epic ten minute "Incantation Of He Who Sleeps" is a track that could have benefitted from a bit more variation in the arrangements, not to mention it also could have been trimmed down to a more reasonable length. After a promising start it's just after the half way mark that the track slips into almost three agonizing minutes of what sounds like the same repetitive guitar riff amid an equally as repetitive, if not furious drum pattern. While it's still a pretty decent song overall I can't help but feel that it was a bit of a missed opportunity. That gripe aside though the rest of Sun In The House Of The Scorpion is a solid, if somewhat unspectacular slab of black metal. The production is crisp and even though it's definitely your typical guitar dominant mix, it's refreshing every once and awhile to hear a recording in this genre of music where the drums aren't buried or muddled in the overall mix. I also thought the tribal percussion element running through a few of these songs added a nice touch, namely on the instrumental intro "Herald Of The Aeon Of Darkness" and the brief but sinister sounding interlude "Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness". The latter segues straight into a perfectly executed cover of Beherit's "Gate Of Nanna", which ironically is the sole track on the whole album to yield the most rewards as far as dynamics and variety are concerned.
If you're a fan of black metal then I think you'll find that Sun In The House Of The Scorpion holds up reasonably well with repeated listens. That being said though, if in the future they decide to incorporate a bit more dynamics and atmospherics into their arrangements, I think their music would end up having that much more of an impact on the listener.
1) Herald Of The Aeon Of Darkness
2) Those That Wander Amidst The Stars
3) Cyclopean Temples Of The Old Ones
4) Incantation Of He Who Sleeps
5) Guardians Of Gateways To Outer Void
6) Ceremonies To Take Away Thy Ageless Hate
7) Morbid Dreams Bringing Madness
8) Gate Of Nanna (Beherit cover)